Trying for a baby can be a nerve-racking experience for many women. As each month passes by, the anxiousness grows with the expectation of conception. And then comes that all important time when the pregnancy test comes out ….
Pregnancy tests can now test earlier than ever for early pregnancy. The innovative technology packed into these tiny test strips is designed to detect hCG, the pregnancy hormone that shows up early enough before a missed menstrual cycle.
In order to get accurate test reading when using pregnancy test strips, it is important to carefully follow the usage steps so that the correct result is achieved. This entails following the package instructions religiously.
Standalone test strips are a bit different to the types pregnancy tests that you might find in shops. They usually come without the plastic casing that houses the pregnancy tests that are found in many drugstores or chemists, such as Boots or Superdrug. Most women trying to conceive often prefer these less fancy tests as they can be bought in bulk at a discounted rate.
Pregnancy test strips can be used in two ways. A strip can either be held in a urine stream or dipped into a sample of urine. The latter can be achieved by using a sample cup. Note that the exact amount of time that is needed for this to be carried out is consequent upon the brand and collection method, but in most cases not longer that 5-10 seconds. This test strip is placed on a clean and dry surface to be read.
How Do I Perform a Pregnancy Test Using a Test Strip?
Here is a list of simple yet easy steps to follow while conducting a urine test for pregnancy in the comfort of your own home. This will make sure that the test is quiet and effective in determining if you’re pregnant or not.
1. Check the Expiration Date of your Pregnancy Test Strips
It is an absolute must to check the expiration date of the strip if you intend to use it for a home pregnancy test. It will normally be printed on the back of the test packet. If the pregnancy kit is new, you stand a better chance of having a good result. Throw away any stocked up pregnancy test kits and get a fresh ones.
2. Only Use Early Morning Urine
A pregnancy test conducted using morning urine increases your chances of having an effective reading. This is because your urine is highly concentrated with hCG in the morning. You are also less likely to get an incorrect reading by doing this. Do the test in the morning whenever you’re ready.
3. Carefully Read the Instructions
It is important you read the instructions supplied before carrying out the test. There are varied specifications from different brands and you need to understand the one you’re about to use. Differences exist for different brands in the method of collection of urine, the length of time the urine stays on test strip and symbols for proving the test result.
4. Get familiar with the Diagrams
To truly understand the reading, you’ll have to know the diagrams as listed on the pack. If you can’t decipher the meaning of the diagrams while showing the result, don’t fret. You can clarify any doubts by calling the toll free number that is listed behind the pack or inside leaflet. For Zoom Baby pregnancy test strips we offer both email and telephone support which is free of charge.
5. Be Mentally Prepared
It usually comes with mixed feelings when you’re testing for pregnancy – whether at home or in a clinic. Especially if you are a first timer, nervousness will kick in, so you should be prepared mentally. Conversing with your partner, friends and family may be of great help to get rid of any fears before you get the result You’ll have to understand that pregnancy is a natural process, no matter the result.
6. Carry out the Test Methodically
Though this test may be simple to carry out, ensure you follow the instructions to letter. You can urinate directly on the stick or better still, take a sample of your urine in a plastic cup and test a few drops on the stick. While urinating directly, make sure you follow the instructions listed about the length of time that you must keep the stick under your stream.
7. Await the Results
When the test is all conducted, place the stick in a horizontal position on a clean surface for the development of the readings. The waiting time ranges from between 1-5 minutes and it’s quite critical to wait till such time. It is important that you relax and remain patient during this period as some tests have been reported to take as much as 10 minutes to show any concrete result.
Staring nervously at the stick will not speed up the result; you’ll have to be calm come what may. Go for a short walk, have a cup of tea …
8 . Checking the Final Result
Immediately after the waiting period has elapsed, check for the result
Symbols and diagrams may vary with brands, but the a line appearing on test line of the stick is always a sign of positive result.
If it is a faint line appears just next to the control line, consider it as a positive, that simply means the test picked up hCG in your urine.
9. What to Do after the Result
This could be life-changing when you read the result. It is important that you know what to do after the urine test.
Keeping the following in mind:
When the Result Is Positive
Make an appointment with your doctor if the urine pregnancy test is positive. A blood test may be recommended by your doctor to confirm the result. In most circumstance, the results of the urine test are accurate.
When the Result Is Negative
If your period has not arrived and the test still reads negative, it is advisable to wait for more time and re-do the test. Sometimes false negatives come up. This usually happens when you’ve done a miscalculation of your ovulation date or had taken the test earlier than it was recommended. And if the second test comes out negative too, ensure you make an appointment with your doctor and find out the reason. It could be as a result of other issues that you may not even be aware of.
False negatives do happen with ultra sensitive pregnancy tests. Carrying out the test before the time when hCG levels have passed 10mIU in your urine sample will cause a negative result.
This may not mean that you aren’t pregnant, it could be just be that you have taken the test too early or that your urine sample was too dilute. In this scenario you should hang on for another 48 hours and test again with a fresh urine sample which you have taken as soon as you urinate for the first time in the morning.